Thursday, May 04, 2006

Roundabout row...

Saltburn centre island without the offending sign.A promotional advertising sign which appeared on the town centre roundabout continues to raise controversy. The sign is one of 19 which have appeared on roundabouts across the borough and a number of concerns have been raised by Saltburn residents relating to the obtrusive size of the sign compared to the size of the roundabout, the distraction it presents to motorists and the effects it could have on the town's chance of winning another 'Britain in Bloom' award. A spokesperson from the council visited the town in response to the complaints but did not consider the sign to be obtrusive, pointing out that the council received a revenue from the signs which went on providing and maintaining flowers and plants. A second council member called for a compromise over the issue stating that, "If we want the environment to look as good as it is we have to look at ways of maximising income for the council."
The sign vanished from the island mid-April shortly after being knocked over. The council removed it following protests from members of the 'Saltburn in Bloom' committee. However it is to be replaced by a slightly smaller sign advertising a local surf shop. Councillor Empson said that judges for the 'Britain in Bloom' competition were in favour of the signs because income from them helped to keep roundabouts colourful.
The 'Saltburn in Bloom' committee were not happy with the council's decision and had offered to pay for the roundabout garden themselves but were quoted £1,900 per year for a minimum of three years. Consequently they couldn't afford it. Although they could have raised a donation for the flowers without a sponsor notice they were told that it had already been taken. The owner of the local 360 Surf shop, Mr Jack Burns said that he had paid under £1000 for the sign for a year and expected it to appear this month. Although initially opposed to the sign, Mr Burns felt that it would be more appropriate for a local business to advertise on the site than an outside agency.
Saltburn historian Tony Lynn was also unhappy at the decision stating that the sign on such a small roundabout would be incongruous.

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